Covid-19 Updates

Your vessel, our responsibility

Covid-19 Updates

We continue to receive and follow the latest best practices from the WHO and health professionals on containment of the virus in order to adopt the best possible actions. Supporting your vessel and crew is our priority. The Coronavirus is first and foremost a humanitarian challenge and, as such, the protection of the health and wellbeing of all our customers and colleagues is V.Group’s highest priority. Under our value of care, we will ensure all customers are kept up to date on any new developments.

With safety at the forefront of our activities, we feel it is important to share with V.Group colleagues and customers regular information on how to best operate during the coronavirus outbreak. We continue to receive and follow the latest best practices from the WHO and health professionals on containment of the virus in order to adopt the best possible actions. Supporting business continuity ashore, vessels, crew and associated stakeholders is our priority. Rest assured that we are taking all the required steps to ensure continued safe operations of our people and vessels under management.” Matt Dunlop, Head of HSEQ.

Important notice

  • Latest advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) can be found here.
  • Download all latest IMO circular letters informing of the measures and arrangement of flag States in dealing with inspections, certificates, crew change etc. on this link here.
  • FAQs about Covid-19 can be found here.

Notice to Seafarers

Updates for our Crew Colleagues and their families will be managed through the V.Crew Support Centre website available at the following link. This will be updated on a regular basis.

Supply Chain & Logistics 

For all updates on suppliers and freight, click here.

Travel 

Updates on all travel restrictions will be published regularly on GMT’s news section, available here.

 

 

Coronavirus Timeline

1 June 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. Updated consolidated list of terminals and ports where CDI and SIRE inspections went ahead as planned or were not possible due to Covid-19 issues. The list was updated on the 18th May 2020. The new entries of last week are distinguished in blue font. Inspections cancelled or declined and Inspections completed.

28 May 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. Updated consolidated list of terminals and ports where CDI and SIRE inspections went ahead as planned or were not possible due to Covid-19 issues. The list was updated on the 18th May 2020. The new entries of last week are distinguished in blue font. Inspections cancelled or declined and Inspections completed.

Intertanko – Covid-19 Tanker Recovery Management Plan

This guidance aims to highlight areas that will need urgent attention in order for tankers to return to their normal operating parameters. The document should also assist with demonstrating to charterers and Port State Control that the ship has a plan that covers how it will be brought back in compliance with the requirements. link here.

27 May 2020 | Latest Updates

Covid-19 testing kits rolled out across V.Group fleet

Seafarers are on the front line in the global fight against Covid-19 and to support their efforts and protect their health, V.Group is rolling out Covid-19 testing kits to all its managed vessels. Supplied through Oceanic Medical Solutions, more than 14,000 Rapid Test Kits, which detect the presence of Covid-19 antibodies from a blood sample, are scheduled to be distributed across the fleet by the end of the month with each vessel receiving 25 kits. Read our latest article here.

Joint Statement IMO-ICAO-ILO on designation of seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel, aviation personnel, air cargo supply chain personnel and service provider personnel at airports and ports as key workers, and on facilitation of crew changes in ports and airports in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have jointly issued the attached statement to enlist the support of Governments for the facilitation of crew changes in ports and airports in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full statement available here.

 

26 May 2020 | Latest Updates

Oceanic Catering Response to Covid-19

Oceanic Catering, as many businesses within the shipping industry, has been affected by the sudden Covid-19 outbreak who impacted the whole industry. Despite all challenges, V.Group’s leading Catering brand remained focused on delivering a flawless service to their customers by adapting to the situation. Click here to read more on how Oceanic Catering responded to mitigate risks due to Covid-19 outbreak.

V.Group partners with maritime welfare charity

V.Group has teamed up with Sailors’ Society to produce a guide to highlight the positive role Masters can play in ensuring crew wellbeing. The 28-page guide aims to help Masters play a positive and determining role in ensuring the wellbeing of their crew. Covering the triggers, signs and symptoms that present in seafarers suffering from poor mental health and wellbeing, the guide shares practical measures that can be taken to respond and assist crew. It also gives guidance on creating an environment that is conducive to positive wellbeing. Read the full release here.

22 May 2020 | Latest Updates

Keeping seafarers safe and well during the Covid-19 crisis

We understand that during challenging times, such as these where seafarers are away from their families and friends for extended periods of time, their mental health and wellbeing can suffer. Wellbeing is the holistic experience of positive health and it includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and ability to manage stress.

That is why this week, during World Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to outline  some of the measures we have been taking to ensure that our seafarers’ stay healthy and reassured during these unprecedented times. Read more here.

19 May 2020 | Latest Updates

V.Ships’ rallying cry for building sustainability into COVID-19 recovery

Cruising’s full stop is painful but provides time to reset long-term priorities — and sustainability should top the list, V.Ships Leisure leaders suggest. ‘COVID-19 is the No. 1 thing now but it’s going away sooner or later. This is an opportunity to take steps to future-proof the industry with proper sustainable practices,’ urged Per Bjornsen, director, V.Ships Leisure. Read full article here.

18 May 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. Updated consolidated list of terminals and ports where CDI and SIRE inspections went ahead as planned or were not possible due to Covid-19 issues. The list was updated on the 18th May 2020. The new entries of last week are distinguished in blue font. Inspection cancel or decline and Inspection completed.

15 May 2020 | Latest Updates

Global Supply Chain News: Virus Causing Big Mess in Ocean Freight Crews, with Some Sailors Stuck on Ships, Others at Home Unable to get to Work

IMO Asks for Release of Travel Restrictions for Ship Crews to Address Growing Issues that Threaten Cargo Deliveries. Read more.

14 May 2020 | Latest Updates

GMT, V.Group leading Travel Management Brand, has teamed up with the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) 

To help alleviate the situation, GMT has partnered with The International Maritime Employers’​ Council Ltd (IMEC) to amalgamate the industry’s crew travel requirements to produce enough volume for airlines to bring idle aircraft into operation. Jointly, our teams have created a crew survey for ship managers and operators to complete, and based on need, GMT will then organise blocks of seats on scheduled carriers, seek extra sections or larger aircraft on routes, and can even organise chartered flights. Read more here

The Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) joint statement 

In discussions last week, JNG and ITF agreed that the current situation in regards to lack of crew change can no longer continue since this could be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the seafarers, putting them at risk as well as the environment and the global supply chain. Seafarers’ fatigue should not be underestimated and the social partners therefore agreed to not extend the contracts, but to support an implementation period of no longer than 30 days (up until 15 June 2020) so that governments have time to implement the framework of protocols as set out in the IMO Circular Letter. Read more here.

13 May 2020 | Latest Updates

InterManager launches ‘Maritime Champions League’ to recognise the triumphs and effort of the maritime industry

InterManager has today introduced the Maritime Champions League, a website to recognise the efforts of the seafaring community where ship managers can share their successful crew repatriation achievements, irrespective of whether they are in-house or third party. Click here to view the full table.

12 May 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. Updated consolidated list of terminals and ports where CDI and SIRE inspections went ahead as planned or were not possible due to Covid-19 issues. The list is updated until 11 May 2020. The new entries of last week are distinguished in blue font. Inspection cancel or decline and Inspection completed.

8 May 2020 | Latest Updates

Protecting our seafarers – Crew wellbeing infographic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact lives and businesses globally, our focus remains firmly on the wellbeing of seafarers. As a result, V.Group has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at keeping crew healthy and reassured during these unprecedented times. These initiatives, combined with a range of safety, operational and control measures, will ensure that under our value of care, our seafaring colleagues can continue to conduct their on board duties whilst maintaining a high level of personal wellbeing. Consult our infographic. 

Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry adopts practical processes to support shipping industry manage COVID-19 related challenges

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) formally announces a new process to facilitate crew changes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Crew changes for vessels are possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met. The relevant decrees issued by the Ministry of Health also permit the long-term stay in anchorage of vessels, including cruise ships (warm lay-up). Read more here.

7 May 2020 | Latest Updates

IMO releases Crew Change Protocol

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a Circular Letter to Member States which includes the final Framework of Protocols for crew changes – full letter available here. These protocols should be read in conjunction with the INTERTANKO Crew Change Management Plan.

Supply Chain & Logistics updates 

Click here for latest updates provided by suppliers to Marcas or through the Global Fleet Procurement Team.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of issues, but aims to identify key risks impacting the delivery of products or services.

5 May 2020 | Latest Updates

V.Group senior leaders launch engagement with seafarers through virtual visits

With the potential negative impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of our seafarers, and in line with our value of ‘We care’, the HSEQ team have launched an initiative where senior leaders, including Graham Westgarth, a number of the Executive Team (ET), Ship Management Managing Directors and General Managers, hold engagement calls with our fleet.

As part of the initiative, each senior leader will call at least three vessels per week, to date, more than 220 calls to vessels have been made in the first three weeks since its launch. More information can be found here.

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. Updated consolidated list of terminals and ports where CDI and SIRE inspections went ahead as planned or were not possible due to Covid-19 issues. The list is updated until 03 May 2020. The new entries of last week are distinguished in blue font. Inspection cancel or decline and Inspection completed.

4 May 2020 | Latest Updates

IMO postpones further meetings due to Covid-19 but begins rescheduling plans 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that meetings which were scheduled to be held in July, including the next regular session of the IMO Council, have now been postponed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read in full here.

30 April 2020 | Latest Updates

#HeroesAtSeaShoutout 

V.Group backs call for ships to sound horns on 1 May to support ‘unsung heroes of global trade’. V.Group has given its full support to a call from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’​ Federation (ITF) for seafarers across the world to sound their ships’ horns when in port at 12.00 local time on International Workers’ Day on 1 May 2020. Read more here

28 April 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. The new and updated consolidated lists are available. Inspection cancel or decline and Inspection completed.

27 April 2020 | Latest Updates

European Commission Guidelines on protection of health, repatriation and travel arrangements for seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships

Guidelines prepared by the European Commission, Member States and international organizations are invited to make use of the Guidelines, as they see fit, and circulate it to all interested parties. Link here.

Joint Statement: Respect seafarers’ right to emergency medical treatment ashore
The join statement by the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) appeals to governments to urgently ensure that seafarers in need are not denied their right to medical care when sick or victim of an accident on board ships. Read the full statement here.

24 April 2020 | Latest Updates

Joint Statement IMO-WHO-ILO on medical certificates of seafarers, ship sanitation certificates and medical care of seafarers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have jointly issued the attached statement to assist States in ensuring that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. Read the full statement here.

OCIMF – Guidance to inspectors

The document contains the latest information from OCIMF for inspectors and supersedes guidance to inspectors. Consult the document here.

Special Facilitation Certificate Template

In response to calls by two United Nations bodies, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), who along with the European Commission and an alliance of leading maritime companies, seafarers can now be issued with certificates officially recognizing them as key workers and granted exemptions from travel restrictions so they can join and leave their ships and return home without impediment, all the while complying with the proper medical screenings.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ federation (ITF) have jointly produced the special facilitation certificate template and sent them to shipping HR managers, personnel manning and vessel masters. More information can be found here.

23 April 2020 | Latest Updates

INTERTANKO Guidance on Chartering Issues Relating to Covid-19.

The Guidance is available free of charge and can be downloaded here. This Guidance brings together a series of Q&As under each of three areas:

  • Can an owner refuse to proceed to a port where there has been an outbreak of Covid-19? (Safety, force majeure, frustration)
  • Who will be responsible for disruption or delay to the fixture – e.g. losses and costs that arise from Covid-19 including quarantine, deviation, and crew illness?
  • How can the risks associated with Covid-19 in a charterparty be allocated?

The guidance and recommendations should allow Members to assess the need for a bespoke Covid-19 Clause. Should this be required, please refer to the INTERTANKO Model Covid-19 Clauses for Time and Voyage Charterparties and associated Commentary which can be found on the links below:

 

International Chamber of Shipping – Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers

In response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, this Guidance has been produced by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to support all types of ships which operate in international waters. The purpose is to help shipping companies follow advice provided by United Nations agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Full guidance available here.

 

21 April 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE and CDI inspections 

INTERTANKO continues to collect information from members with regards to the restricted possibilities for conducting SIRE and CDI inspections. The new and updated consolidated lists are available. Inspection cancel/decline and Inspection completed.

 

17 April 2020 | Latest Updates

IATA and ICS: Governments must facilitate ship crew changes 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) are jointly calling on governments to take urgent measures to facilitate crew change flights for seafarers. Read the full press release here.

15 April 2020 | Latest Updates

Covid-19: Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extensions

For installation of Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BTWS) to comply with USCG requirements, the “last date to install” can be extended with Covid-19 claimed as a reason. The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published Marine Safety Information Bulletin 14-20 “COVID-19: Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extensions” to clarify adjustments to the extension policy for vessels impacted by the Covid-19-19 pandemic. More information here.

International Group: Covid-19 Restrictions 

Online Tracker This online feature enables operators to locate countries and ports affected by Covid-19 and access specific advice regarding all measures implemented by that specific port in response to the pandemic. The tool incorporates data from all 13 International Group Clubs, the International Maritime Organisation, the WHO and other leading sources to enable ships to carry out their day-to-day operations, and to assist the crew in knowing what to expect prior to arrival. It is available by accessing this link:  https://www.igpandi.org/covid-19

14 April 2020 | Latest Update

Best practice precautions for carrying out the pre-transfer conference during the Covid-19 pandemic

Effective completion of ship-shore safety checklist by tanker and terminal operators is an important step towards achieving safe and efficient cargo transfer operations during a ship’s port call.

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the global population, it is important that tanker and terminal personnel protect each other from being exposed to the virus. Please find links to downloadable checklists here.

Maritime Travel issues during Covid-19

GMT’s Founder and Managing Director Tim Davey speaks to IMSA Global in their latest Vlog to discuss the current travel landscape and effect were seeing the spread of Covid-19 have on the marine industry as it relates to getting to their homes and/or vessels. View the full interview here.

 

9 April 2020 | Latest Updates

Guidelines on protection of health, repatriation and travel arrangements for seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships from the European Commission. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has far-reaching effects on maritime transport and persons on board ships. The Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services state that Member States should facilitate the transit of EU citizens and third-country nationals who are EU residents for their return home. Workers in essential functions, regardless of their nationality, should be able to transit and travel to ensure continued professional activity. The full communication from the EU Commission can be found here.

 

 

8 April 2020 | Latest Updates

SIRE/ BIRE and OVID Programmes – Inspection guidance during the global Covid-19 pandemic 

The decision to commission SIRE/BIRE and OVID inspections rests with the Member/Submitting Organisation. In many cases, the circumstances in the countries where inspections are conducted make the commissioning and completion of inspections challenging. Inspections have or may soon become impossible to conduct in some locations.

To reduce avoidable travel and interpersonal interactions, OCIMF has suspended all training and accreditation activities including all training courses, audited inspections and accompanied inspections until further notice.

OCIMF, on behalf of its members, has developed the following guidance to programme participants for the conduct of programme inspections and use of the resulting reports during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Full guidance available here.

Travel Updates

supporting your vessel and crew is our top priority. GMT receives regular updates from WorldAware, an intelligence-driven, integrated risk management solutions that enable multinational organizations to operate globally with confidence. Please find the latest coronavirus updates around the world here.

6 April 2020 | Latest Updates

INTERTANKO outbreak Management Plan

INTERTANKO Outbreak Management Plan outlines the plans and procedures to be put in place to prepare a ship for shore personnel to come on board and to protect seafarers from the dangers posed by the new Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). This includes potential exposure from shore personnel and the actions to take in the event of a suspected case on board. The Outbreak Management Plan can be downloaded here.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)-published Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers. Circular Letter No.4204/Add.4 (5 March 2020) Guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers.

OCIMF issues best practice precautions for carrying out the SSSCL during the Covid-19 pandemic

In an effort to minimise exposure to the Covid-19 infections during ship-shore interfaces, OCIMF has issued ‘Best practice precautions for carrying out the pre-transfer conference during the COVID 19 Pandemic’. The Best practice can be accessed here.

2 April 2020 | Latest Updates

Keep Things In Perspective – maritime training course available through Marlins

In this challenging period where we are surrounded by negative news and thoughts, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive. But it is now, more than ever, when we need to be optimistic and proactively look at ways of creating a positive attitude.

To assist the global seafaring community face these challenges and understand how keeping things in perspective helps you to be more positive and resilient, Marlins is offering free access to the following module from our resilience programme – Keep things in Perspective. This module demonstrates how your internal dialogue influences your decision making in challenging situations and suggests techniques you can use to steer your inner dialogue in a positive and safe direction.

If you would like to receive free access to the Keep things in Perspective course, please email us at info@marlins.co.uk using subject header – Keep things in Perspective Offer. Please share this information with your seafaring network so that as many people as possible can benefit from the course. The deadline for submissions is 31st May 2020. Visit the Marlins website for more information.

1 April 2020 | Latest Updates

InterManager – Establishment of an ICS/ITF task force to address the need to facilitate crew changes

In their capacity as social partners, ICS and ITF are currently preparing to send a joint letter to the IMO Secretary-General which will make the following points:

  • For humanitarian reasons – and the need to comply with international safety and employment regulations – crew changes cannot be postponed indefinitely should measures implemented by governments in response to COV-19 continue.
  • ICS and ITF therefore intend to propose, with the support of the UN agencies and Member States concerned – the designation of a limited number (perhaps 12 to 15 worldwide) of special crew change ports and airports from where large numbers of crew changes can be effected, notwithstanding any other national entry restrictions that might continue to apply.
  • ICS and ITF will suggest that as well as being ports located close to major shipping routes, to which it will be practicable for ships to divert for the purpose of crew changes, these designated ports also will need to have access to a hub airport, ideally served by a major global airline with connections to a large range of destinations in or close to the principal seafarer countries of residence (in particular including air routes to China, India, Philippines, EU, and nations in eastern Europe).

As a first step, ICS and ITF (as social partners) intend to seek the immediate support for this concept from IMO, which will also be requested to liaise with and seek the support of the International Civil Aviation Agency (IACO). IMO and ICAO would then be asked to contact their Member States, requesting them to start discussions with national stakeholders about adjustments to any existing general restrictions on flights, disembarkation from ships in port, and relevant quarantine, screening and health protocols, taking account of the recommendations within IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add6.

31 March 2020 | Latest Updates

V.Group policy – Covid-19 testing

Although V.Group have made a strategic decision to postpone crew changes for at least the next four weeks, due to global travel restrictions and to keep our ships in a ‘safe and contained environment’, there will be reasons to place new crew onboard due to illness, injury, or compliance with statutory seafarer document expiry.

The Group Executive team have therefore agreed to pre-mobilisation testing –

  • Crewmembers will be tested for Covid-19 under medical conditions at the Crewing centre preferred clinics.
  • The testing will be utilising the rapid test kit process which requires taking a sample of blood for analysis which can take around 6 hours for test results to be made available. The Crewing teams are presently ordering such kits through Oceanic Catering medical teams which will take some time for dispatch and be made available within the clinics.
  • The Covid Crew Command Centre team will update when we are in a position to offer this proactive service.

30 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Open letter to decision makers to help the shipping industry

Graham Westgarth, V.Group CEO, wrote an open letter, calling on decision makers worldwide to help the shipping industry by designating seafarers as ‘key personnel’ and, in doing so, provide them with adequate safeguards, including rights of embarkation and disembarkation. Failure to recognise them as key workers will have catastrophic global consequence, the shipping industry being responsible to transport 92% of the world’s goods. Full letter available here.

Latest Official IMO Circular from the IMO Secretary-General to member states

Preliminary list of recommendations for Governments and relevant national authorities on the facilitation of maritime trade during the Covid-19 pandemic. Latest official IMO Circular from the IMO Secretary-General to member states distributing the recommendations jointly developed between BIMCO, CLIA, FONASBA, IACS, IAPH, IMCA, IMEC, INTERCARGO, INTERFERRY, INTERMANAGER, INTERTANKO, IPTA, ITF, P&I Clubs and WSC (plus ASA and ECSA) can be found here.

Vetting Covid-19 – reactions from Oil Major stakeholders

Read the latest OCIMF update on SIRE/OVID reportsWhile we all work through this unprecedented situation it is important to maintain delivery of essential goods and services on a global basis. OCIMF members, SIRE/OVID report users, vessel operators and inspectors are finding it very difficult to continue normal inspection regimes due to restrictions in travel, access through terminals, social distancing and health and safety considerations to varying degrees depending on location. The situation is fluid and will continue to change country by country for some time.

27 March 2020 | Latest Update

Graham Westgarth, V.Group Chief Executive Officer, has highlighted the importance of industry collaboration in a video message launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak. In the video, the first in a series, Westgarth outlines the focus of V.Group during this unprecedented time for the shipping industry, stressing that the priority remains the safety and wellbeing of the team. Graham stressed that the industry must work together, engaging with legislative bodies and industry bodies to reduce restrictions for shipping personnel. “We’re privileged to be in an industry that’s resilient and populated with extremely committed people and I’m sure we’ll get through this and come out of the other end stronger than we were previously.” Watch the full video here. 

Communication from the European Commission, dated from 23.03 on the implementation of the Green Lanes under the Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services. The Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services adopted by the European Commission on 16 March 2020, stress the principle that all EU internal borders should stay open to freight and that the supply chains for essential products must be guaranteed. Full letter available here.

HSEQ posters – Safety measures for Covid-19

We appreciate that the global pandemic of Covid-19 has created a significant amount of concern and stress for our colleagues on board. Our latest posters will help in identifying the safety measures to follow.

 

26 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Vetting Covid-19 – reactions from Oil Major stakeholders

Latest reactions from Oil Majors stakeholders, including latest communication from INTERTANKO, V.Ships, and Dow Vetting Policy adjustments. Read the latest update here.

IMO Circular Letters – Panama, Georgia, Republic of Poland and Ukraine.

IMO Circular Letter No.4230 dated 24 Mar 2020, informing of flexible arrangement of Panama on:

  • Crew change
  • Extension of Seafarers employment Agreement
  • Extension of Seafarers Certificates including Certificates of Endorsement

IMO Circular Letter No.4232 dated 24 Mar 2020, informing of similar measures implemented by:

  • Georgia;
  • The Republic of Poland; and
  • Ukraine

25 March 2020 | Latest Updates

UK Ministerial letter to ILO, IMO and WHO

Letter by the UK Shipping Minister to ask of the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization for clear joint international guidance and direction to port States, flag States and coastal States supporting seafarers and ship operators. Link here

Lockdown in India to halt the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus

Only essential services (hospitals, medical stores, grocery & vegetable shops) are asked to function. The lockdown suspends all activities/movements other than essential services, and district borders are sealed, difficulty can be anticipated in the movement of pilots, labor, personnel, vehicles, trucking, cargo evacuation, port agents, CHA & other stake holders involved in vessel/cargo operations. Manpower is also drastically reduced in most locations. the latest guidelines issued by the D.G Shipping instructed all ports to follow 14 days mandatory quarantine for vessels arriving from restricted countries/ports.

24 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Inspectors Global Footprint

For ship owners and managers who are unable to inspect their vessels, SeaTec can utilise its global footprint to help customers meet their KPIs. These services will be available at a special price during the Coronavirus crisis, providing value for money in addition to speedy response. Find out more.

Vetting Covid-19 – reactions from Oil Major stakeholders

Latest reactions from Oil Majors stakeholders, including latest communication from Shell Time Charter and Phillips 66. Read the latest update here.

Joint letter by ECSA and ETF to the Council on urgent regulatory measures for the shipping industry

ECSA and ETF call upon the EU institutions to support the industry and its workforce with the challenges they are facing. Special measures and actions have to be taken with the greatest urgency to ensure that the shipping industry can play its role in supporting the EU economy to the fullest extent possible. Read the full letter.

 

 

23 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Free of charge Coronavirus training video

In the wake of the pandemic COVID-19, Seagull Maritime and Videotel have launched a new programme called:
“Coronavirus- How to Beat it.” Available free to the maritime industry, the programme outlines the common symptoms that seafarers need to be aware of and details the key precautions that individuals onboard can take to minimise the spread of this highly contagious virus. Link here.

Stock Management and Food Safety

Guidance has been circulated to our vessels concerning stock management and food safety on board relating to Covid-19. The guidance covers:

  • Suggestions for best use of stock on-board, including portion control, best use of fruit and vegetables and use of leftovers
  • Food safety and hygiene practices including temperature control and keeping food surfaces clean and sanitised at all times.

20 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Vetting Covid-19 – reactions from Oil Major stakeholders

Safety of our staff remains most important at all times, especially while our managed vessels calling terminals for loading /discharge operation. We took the initiative of discussing with various Oil Majors since their group meeting at Dubai early this year, whilst effectively liaising with INTERTANKO. After concerted efforts from members, OCIMF, Oil Majors have advised their temporary direction of vetting process going forward.

Basis the feedback we are following up as closely as possible through local agents, SIRE inspecting companies, Oil Majors, Owners and charterers as per below. Read the latest update here.

Travel 

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of Covid-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

IMO Circular information – Canada 

IMO Circular Letter No.4226 dated 20 Mar 2020, informing of flexible arrangement of Canada on: “Extending the Validity of Canadian Marine Personnel Certificates.” – link here.

19 March 2020 | Latest Updates

The shipping industry urgently needs special regulatory measures and actions to prevent a total collapse of seaborne trade to and from the EU. Read the joint high level letter from the European Community Shipowner’s Association (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation here.

Joint open letter to United Nations agencies from the Global Maritime Transport Industry on facilitating crew changes to keep world trade moving throughout the Covid-19 crisis. As active members of leading industry organisations such as ICS, we drive topical agendas, including the current pressing issues of crew changes during the Covid-19 crisis and associated restrictions – which could impact global trade. Click here to read more.

18 March 2020 | Latest Updates

ITF green lights crew contract extensions

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) will green light the extension of Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs) for up to one month in response to Covid-19 containment strategies. Read full article here.

Keep on top of training with elearning

Seafarers are at heart of everything we do. At Marlins, we aim to deliver elearning solutions to help you develop your skills and career. With elearning, it is possible to manage your personal development during times of uncertainty and keep on top of training pro-actively.

Our STCW Security elearning courses can be completed anywhere, provided your employer accepts a Liberia flag approved certificate.

We can also support you with distance-learning in many additional areas:
-Deck and Navigation
-Safety
-Hotel Services
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17 March 2020 | Latest Updates

Covid-Crewing Command Centre

In response to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, a Covid-Crewing Command Centre (CCCC) has been set up within Crew Management to ensure continuous crewing operations, safe manning of vessels, and maintain the safety of seafarers joining and returning from vessels. The team includes senior colleagues from key functions who will provide quick and decisive solutions, working together with HSEQ and Ship Management.

The core team will meet daily to review the global situation of our crewing offices and seafarers as well as review measures and decisions that need to be taken to provide you with the necessary support to your operations.

INTERTANKO Communication – Covid-19 Impact on the Tanker Industry 

INTERTANKO activities relating to Covid-19 Vetting Committee update – link here 

Travel and airlines restrictions around the world 

It is our hope that the following traveler updates keep you well informed as we navigate this difficult time together. Please visit this link.

16 March 2020 | Latest Updates

The World Health Organization recently declared the rapidly spreading Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. In order to slow the transmission of the virus, many countries and regions have imposed strict quarantines and/or entry bans for travelers, with many more governments expected to follow soon.

V.Group Crew Management Update – Postponement of Crew Changes 

Please read the latest Circular Letter on all V.Group Ship Management and Crew Management vessels. This letter does not apply to Offshore or Leisure vessels. Read more information here.

Travel

  • Transportation: United Arab Emirates suspends all visas to foreigners starting March 17 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Further travel restrictions likely.
  • Entry/Exit: Singapore intensifies health screenings, self-quarantine measures for all passengers from March 17 due to COVID-19. Entry bans in effect.
  • Entry/Exit: Philippines maintaining restrictions for foreigners with recent travel to Iran, Italy as of March 16 due to COVID-19. Other measures apply.

 

13 March 2020 | Latest update

The following measures have been adopted in response of the Covid-19 outbreak

  • We have established a top level Covid-19 policy for all of V.Group to ensure the protection of our colleagues and our customers.
  • We have assembled a multi-discipline task force to manage the dynamic response required as the virus outbreak continues to spread globally.
  • We are keeping your vessels fully updated on best practices to take to ensure the crew’s wellbeing and continued operation of the vessel.
  • Where possible, we are avoiding all non-essential travel to affected areas, including inter-office travel and industry conferences.
  • We are limiting access to our offices. Business-critical visitors, such as customers or external auditors will be briefed in advance of our policies and precautions against COVID-19

Travel

The US are now at a Global Health Advisory Level 3 due to Covid-19. Please read further information on what this means for travelers and seafarers alike if traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen Area countries within the previous 14 days – link.

Frequently Asked Questions 

A practical guide to follow on what should be done if someone onboard gets unwell – click here.

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